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7th Army Training Center
Seventh U.S. Army

Looking for more information from military/civilian personnel assigned to or associated with the U.S. Army in Germany from 1945 to 1989. If you have any stories or thoughts on the subject, please contact me.


7767 TTC History (1948 -1950)

7th ATC History
(1950 -2005)

Baumholder Training Area

Grafenwöhr Training Area

Hohenfels Training Area

Wildflecken Training Area

Combined Arms School

350th Ord Det (Ball & Tech Svc)

AF Liaison Office

Newspaper articles

Patch worn 1948- 1950

Patch worn 1950- 2005
Related Links



 
7767 Tank Training Unit
1949
(Source: 7767 TTU Table of Distribution, 15 Oct 1949)

T/D No. 303-1376-A
 
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History

From the commemorative (100th Anniversary of Grafenwoehr) issue of the TRAINING JOURNAL
(click on image to download issue in PDF format)

1950 - 19..
Seventh Army Tank Training Center Pocket Patch
(Source: Seventh Army Training Command pamphlet, issued by the 7th ATC PAO)
 
WORLD WAR II
A story states that Hitler not only used Grafenwoehr as the training area for his massive army, but had today's Route 22 constructed as an invasion route to Czechoslovakia. It was not marked on any maps at that time. On 29 August 1939, troops of the German 2nd Artillery Regiment left Grafenwoehr to join the Polish Campaign. With the surrender of Czechoslovakia, all ammunition and equipment of the deposed Czechoslovakian army was stored in Grafenwoehr.

During this period, Hitler's personal bodyguard, the Leibstandarte SS, was trained in Grafenwoehr, as were units of Rommel's famed Afrika Corps and the Spanish Blue Division. The curving road parallelling the eastern border of the Grafenwoehr Training Area, leading to Vilseck was also built. SS troops trained there to drive in the dark under blackout conditions.

The last few weeks of World War II brought chaos to Grafenwoehr as allied bombers sent a haiI of bombs into the camp and town.

A bombing raid on 5 April 1945, and another three days later, destroyed nearly 80 percent of the buildings in the camp.

Two weeks after the bombing, elements of the 90th Infantry Division of the Third U.S. Army, entered Grafenwoehr, occupying the town and camp without resistance. The lower gate in the town was demolished because it was too narrow for the passage of tanks. With its destruction, the last remnant of the middle age entrance to the town disappeared.
POST WORLD WAR II
Shortly after occupation troops entered the camp, a stockade was formed for German prisoners of war. In 1946, this became a camp for Polish and Ukrainian displaced persons and in 1947 and 1946, under the supervision of the International Refugee Committee, it was used as a Jewish Displaced Persons Camp.

In May 1947, the U.S. Constabulary decided to establish a training area here for the newly activated 370th and 371st Infantry Battalions. The land area between Grafenwoehr and Vilseck was used and in 1948, the U.S. Constabulary Tank Training Center was established, with headquarters at Vilseck, until the miIitary camp at Grafenwoehr could be reconstructed from the war damage.

SEVENTH ARMY TAKES OVER
In 1949, the Vilseck Post was placed under the command of Seventh Army and became the Seventh Army Tank Training Center. Even though troop billeting and classrooms were primarily located near Vilseck, the Tank Training Center also operated special tank ranges in the Grafenwoehr area.

Then, in February 1958, the Tank Training Center was re-designated as the Seventh Army Training Center, with headquarters at Vilseck. The entire Grafenwoehr reservation, which included the Grafenwoehr and ViIseck Sub-Posts, became one training center.

In 1959, a newly remodeled Grafenwoehr Post became the headquarters of the Seventh Army Training Center.

With the re-estabIishment of Grafenwoehr as the headquarters of the new Seventh Army Training Center, a number of other changes also took place. The area near Vilseck became the Seventh Army Combined Arms School, and at the same time, the Hohenfels Training Area, about 41 miles southwest of Grafenwoehr, with 40,000 acres, was assigned to the new Training Center. Thus, the Seventh Army Training Center became the largest training complex in Western Germany.

TRAINING OFFERED IN ARMOR, ARTILLERY AND INFANTRY
The two areas of Grafenwoehr and Hohenfels gave the U.S. Army in Europe the ability to train in all the combat arms. Grafenwoehr became the area for live fire exercises of armor and artillery, while Hohenfels, with its hills and small ranges, was better suited for infantry training.

This, plus the Combined Arms School in Vilseck, gave the American fighting soldier in Europe not only classroom training in Armor, Artillery and Infantry tactics, but with the many ranges and training areas, he was also able to go into the field for practical application.

WILDFLECKEN ADDED TO SEVENTH ARMY TRAINING CENTER
The next big change for the Seventh Army Training Canter came in July 1967 when it was determined that all major U.S. Army training areas should be under one command. The Wildflecken Training Area was included and the merger added some 18,000 acres of training facilities to the 97,000 acres already in use at Grafenwoehr, Vilseck and Hohenfels.

Within this total area facilities existed, and continue today, which can be used for firing combat weapons from a .45 calibre pistol to the Honest John Rocket. Maneuver areas, swim sites, artillery firing points, helicopter firing ranges and the vast amounts of space needed, encompassing various types of terrain, afford realistic training to keep the NATO soldier in general, and the U.S. soldier in particular, combat ready.

U.S. ARMY SCHOOLS, EUROPE, BEGIN MOVING TO VILSECK
The year 1970 saw still another move toward combining the training facilities of the U.S. soldier in Europe under one major headquarters. Kimbro Kaferne, near Murnau, began to phase out and in November, the Officer and NCO Maintenance Supervisors' Courses were moved to Vilseck.

With this move, the Seventh Army Combined Arms School was re-designated as the USAREUR Combined Arms Training Center (CATC) on 1 July 1971.

Another page in the book of the Seventh Army Training Center's constantly expanding support role was added in 1973 with the announcement that it would assume the support and command roles for all USAREUR individual training activities in Europe. Combat support courses from the Combat Support Training Center, Oberammergau, were moved to ViIseck. In addition, though remaining stationary at Bad Toelz, the Non-Commissioned Officers Academy and the Communications-Electronics Training courses were placed under supervision of Vilseck.

First to move to Vilseck were the NBC Defense Officer and NCO Courses and the Data Processing Courses in November 1973. In January 1974, with the movement of the Intelligence, Military Police, Legal, Logistics, Card Punch, Systems Design and Analysis, and the Command and Training Management Courses to Vilseck, the military training activity again was renamed. The USAREUR CATC was re-designated the Seventh Army Combined Arms Training Center (7A CATC).

CHAIN OF COMMAND CHANGES
Until 1 July 1974, the 7th Army Training Center was a USAREUR assigned unit. Seventh ATC's Major Training Areas (Grafenwoehr, Hohenfels, Wildflecken) and the 7A CATC at Vilseck were under the supervision of HQ, 7th ATC in Grafenwoehr which answered directly to U.S. Army, Europe, (USAREUR) headquarters in Heidelberg.

PROJECT CHASE
Consolidation of Headquarters and Area Support Elements was implemented on 1 July 1974. Under this re-organization, three headquarters -- 21st Support Brigade in Kaiserslautern, V Corps in Frankfurt and VII Corps in Stuttgart -- assumed all logistic and base support functions in West Germany.

As part of PROJECT CHASE, 7th ATC began reporting directly to VII Corps as its higher headquarters. This new concept gave local community commanders a more responsive means of improving local support services. Under the control of a regional headquarters, the necessity of sending actions through a distant headquarters that assigns priorities was eliminated.

PERMANENT PARTY INCREASES WITH "HELL ON WHEELS"
On 4 March 1975, the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Armored Division, with the motto of "Hell on Wheels", was deployed from Ft. Hood, Texas, to the 7th Army Training Canter. Called "Brigade 75", it increased NATO combat power. The Mechanized Heavy Brigade consists of the Brigade Headquarters and 498th Forward Support Battalion on a permanent basis at Grafenwoehr, while a cavalry troop, a field artillery battalion, an armor battalion and an engineer company at Grafenwoehr, and a mechanized infantry battalion at Hohenfels and Wildflecken, all rotate to and from the United States on a six month basis.

EXPANSION AND REORGANIZATION
During the American Bicentennial year of 1976, many changes occurred within the 7th Army Training Center's structure.

Effective 1 July 1976, the 7ATC was re-designated as the Seventh Army Training Command and re-organized to serve as the focal point for training management in the United States Army, Europe.

Previously, in March 1976, 7ATC Commander Colonel Thomas P. Lynch was promoted to Brigadier General. With the re-designation of the 7ATC, General Lynch became the former Training Center's last and Training Command's first Commander.

The Major Training Areas and the 7A CATC became sub-communities of the new command. Two new sub-communities were incorporated into the command, Amberg and Bindlach. The 7ATC Military Community now encompasses 7,540 square miles.

7ATC ACQUIRES NEW ORGANIZATIONS
To accomplish the command's expanded role, many training functions previously performed by the USAREUR staff were transferred to 7ATC. Two new organizations, the Combined Arms Training Directorate (CATD) and the Training Support Activity, Europe, (TSAE) were established.

In July 1976, 7ATC acquired the directorate, CATD. Its mission: to assist USAREUR commanders in their goal of maximizing available time and resources. CATD stresses dissemination and implementation of TRADOC developments. CATD also evaluates training activities at the Major Training Areas. Through CATD, major USAREUR training needs are identified and data collected and evaluated to determine the validity of training programs and activities. The directorate consists of three branches -- Training Management Branch, Collective Training Branch and the Individual Training Branch.

Effective 1 July 1976, the TSAE was activated under 7ATC supervision. It provides audiovisual guidance and coordinates resource management of audiovisual activities throughout USAREUR.

TSAE has technical supervision over the Training and Audiovisual Support Centers (TASC) in USAREUR's five major commands (21st Support Brigade, V Corps, VII Corps, 7ATC and Berlin) and over the Training and Audiovisual Support Offices (TASO) in their sub-communities.

7A CATC MISSION EXPANDS
As part of the new command, 7A CATC acquired a three-fold mission: To provide theater-oriented training necessary in maintaining and increasing command combat readiness; To provide training on new equipment and theater-oriented combat procedures; To provide officer, enlisted and civilian personnel training supplementing previous training.

To carry out combat readiness missions, 7A CATC supervises the Basic NCO Courses at Vilseck consisting of nine combat arms military specialties in addition to the Primary Leadership Course in Bad Toelz.

To supplement previous training, 7A CATC supervises training of the Race Relations-Equal Opportunity, Alcohol & Drug Abuse Control, Resource Management and Facility Engineering Courses in Munich and the Automatic Data Processing Course at Zweibruecken.

7ATC MISSION
Provide single point management for individual and collective training in USAREUR, including development of concepts, requirements and evaluation of training readiness.

Provide command or administrative control, administrative, logistical and engineering support to assigned, attached and tenant units/activities within the Seventh Army Training Command.

Control, schedule, coordinate and maintain training facilities for NATO Armor, Artillery, Mechanized Infantry and Engineer Units.

Command and provide base operation support to military communities under 7ATC control.

(Source: George K. Cabral, Seventh Army Joint Multinational Training Command (7A JMTC))
George is compiling an updated history of the JMTC at Grafenwöhr. It is still in the building stages. Input from readers is welcome.

7ATC JMTC HISTORY

The Seventh US Army Joint Multinational Training Command, and associated training facilities have a long history of preparing Soldiers for combat operations.

The area that JMTC now occupies at Grafenwoehr and Vilseck, was first used in 1907 by Prince Luitpold, Regent of Bavaria, to train the Third Bavarian Corps. The first artillery round fired at Grafenwoehr went downrange at 8 a.m., June 30, 1910 and by 1911, the Camp of Grafenwoehr was declared fully operational with about thirty-seven square miles of fir forest as a training area.

After World War I, Grafenwoehr was taken from the control of the Bavarian Army and placed under the Berlin High Command. At the same time Grafenwoehr was used to train the German Reichwehr, the 100,000 man army authorized under the Versailles Treaty. In 1933, Hitler became Chancellor of Germany and by 1935 the Reichwehr had been forgotten. Completely disregarding the Treaty of Versailles, Hitler’s Wehrmacht was created and grew to the point where available manpower was its only limitation. During this period, Grafenwoehr expanded and local inhabitants were evacuated to make room for larger training facilities until the training area covered fifty square miles.

In 1937, the Vilseck installation was constructed by the German Army as a horse artillery post which could accommodate a complete regiment in permanent barracks. Later a tank shop was added and some of the horse stables were converted into tank sheds. In 1938 the training area was expanded to its present size of approximately eighty-nine square miles.

The Wildflecken and Hohenfels Training Areas were established in 1937 and 1938 to support the expansion of the Wehrmacht. A story states that Hitler not only used Grafenwoehr as the training area for his massive army, but had what is now Route 22 constructed as an invasion route to Czechoslovakia. It was not marked on any maps at that time. On 29 August 1939, troops of the German 2nd Artillery Regiment left Grafenwoehr to join the Polish Campaign. When Czechoslovakia surrendered, all ammunition and equipment belonging to its deposed army was moved to and stored in Grafenwoehr. During World War II, these training areas were used for training of the German Army and eastern auxiliary units, and for confinement of prisoners of war. During this period, Hitler's personal bodyguard, the Leibstandarte SS, was trained in Grafenwoehr, as were units of Rommel's famed Afrika Corps and the Spanish Blue Division. The curving road paralleling the eastern border of the Grafenwoehr Training Area, leading to Vilseck was also built. SS troops trained there to drive in the dark under blackout conditions. Several foreign divisions, including Italian, Spanish, and Hungarian forces, also trained in this area.

The last few weeks of World War II brought chaos to Grafenwoehr as allied bombers sent a hail of bombs into the camp and town. A bombing raid on 5 April 1945, and another three days later, destroyed nearly 80 percent of the buildings in the camp. Two weeks after the bombing, elements of the 90th Infantry Division of the Third U.S. Army, entered Grafenwoehr, occupying the town and camp without resistance. The lower gate in the town was demolished because it was too narrow for the passage of tanks. With its destruction, the last remnant of the middle age entrance to the town disappeared.

Immediately following World War II, Grafenwoehr was inactive with the exception of the American Army of Occupation. Vilseck was used as the Third Army Stockade for German Prisoners of War and a camp for Polish and Jewish displaced persons. There was no extensive training conducted in the training area until May 1947, when the American 370th and 371st Infantry Battalions were activated and trained in Grafenwoehr. Training was later carried on by the United States Constabulary and the First Infantry Division. Vilseck was selected by the US Constabulary in 1948 as the site for the Tank Training Center. In 1951, with the start of the Cold War, Grafenwoehr, Wildflecken, and Hohenfels became the main training areas for the United States Army, Europe.

JMTC traces its heritage to February 1958 when the Seventh Army Training Center in Vilseck was activated. The entire Grafenwoehr reservation, which included the Grafenwoehr and Vilseck Sub-Posts, became one training center. In 1959, a newly remodeled Grafenwoehr Post became the headquarters of the Seventh Army Training Center.

With the re-establishment of Grafenwoehr as the headquarters of the new Seventh Army Training Center, a number of other changes also took place. The area near Vilseck became the Seventh Army Combined Arms School, and at the same time, the Hohenfels Training Area, about 41 miles southwest of Grafenwoehr, with 40,000 acres, was assigned to the new Training Center. Thus, the Seventh Army Training Center became the largest training complex in Western Germany. The two areas of Grafenwoehr and Hohenfels gave the U.S. Army in Europe the ability to train in all the combat arms. Grafenwoehr became the area for live fire exercises of armor and artillery, while Hohenfels, with its hills and small ranges, was better suited for infantry training. This, plus the Combined Arms School in Vilseck, gave the American fighting soldier in Europe not only classroom training in Armor, Artillery and Infantry tactics, but with the many ranges and training areas, he was also able to go into the field for practical application.

The next big change for the Seventh Army Training Canter came in July 1967 when it was determined that all major U.S. Army training areas should be under one command. The Wildflecken Training Area was included and the merger added some 18,000 acres of training facilities to the 97,000 acres already in use at Grafenwoehr, Vilseck and Hohenfels. Within this total area facilities existed, and continue today, which can be used for firing combat weapons from a .45 caliber pistol to the Honest John Rocket. Maneuver areas, swim sites, artillery firing points, helicopter firing ranges and the vast amounts of space needed, encompassing various types of terrain, afford realistic training to keep the NATO soldier in general, and the U.S. soldier in particular, combat ready.

The year 1970 saw still another move toward combining the training facilities for U.S. soldiers in Europe under one major headquarters. Kimbro Kaserne, near Murnau, began to phase out and in November, the Officer and NCO Maintenance Supervisors' Courses were moved to Vilseck. With this move, the Seventh Army Combined Arms School was re-designated as the USAREUR Combined Arms Training Center (CATC) on 1 July 1971. Another page in the book of the Seventh Army Training Center's constantly expanding support role was added in 1973 with the announcement that it would assume the support and command roles for all USAREUR individual training activities in Europe. Combat support courses from the Combat Support Training Center, Oberammergau, were moved to Vilseck. In addition, though remaining stationary at Bad Toelz, the Non-Commissioned Officers Academy and the Communications-Electronics Training courses were placed under supervision of Vilseck. First to move to Vilseck were the NBC Defense Officer and NCO Courses and the Data Processing Courses in November 1973. In January 1974, with the movement of the Intelligence, Military Police, Legal, Logistics, Card Punch, Systems Design and Analysis, and the Command and Training Management Courses to Vilseck, the military training activity again was renamed. The USAREUR CATC was re-designated the Seventh Army Combined Arms Training Center (7A CATC).

Until 1 July 1974, the 7th Army Training Center was a USAREUR assigned unit. Seventh ATC's Major Training Areas (Grafenwoehr, Hohenfels, and Wildflecken) and the 7A CATC at Vilseck were under the supervision of HQ, 7th ATC in Grafenwoehr which answered directly to U.S. Army, Europe, (USAREUR) headquarters in Heidelberg. Consolidation of Headquarters and Area Support Elements was implemented on 1 July 1974. Under this re-organization, three headquarters -- 21st Support Brigade in Kaiserslautern, V Corps in Frankfurt and VII Corps in Stuttgart -- assumed all logistic and base support functions in West Germany. As part of PROJECT CHASE, 7th ATC began reporting directly to VII Corps as its higher headquarters. This new concept gave local community commanders a more responsive means of improving local support services. Under the control of a regional headquarters, the necessity of sending actions through a distant headquarters that assigns priorities was eliminated.

On 4 March 1975, the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Armored Division, with the motto of "Hell on Wheels", was deployed from Ft. Hood, Texas, to the 7th Army Training Center. Called "Brigade 75", it increased NATO combat power. The Mechanized Heavy Brigade consists of the Brigade Headquarters and 498th Forward Support Battalion on a permanent basis at Grafenwoehr, while a cavalry troop, a field artillery battalion, an armor battalion and an engineer company at Grafenwoehr, and a mechanized infantry battalion at Hohenfels and Wildflecken, all rotated to and from the United States on a six month basis.

During the American Bicentennial year of 1976, many changes occurred within the 7th Army Training Center's structure. Effective 1 July 1976, the 7ATC was re-designated as the Seventh Army Training Command and re-organized to serve as the focal point for training management in the United States Army, Europe. Previously, in March 1976, 7ATC Commander Colonel Thomas P. Lynch was promoted to Brigadier General. With the re-designation of the 7ATC, General Lynch became the former Training Center's last and Training Command's first Commander. The Major Training Areas and the 7A CATC became sub-communities of the new command. Two new sub-communities were incorporated into the command, Amberg and Bindlach. The 7ATC Military Community now encompasses 7,540 square miles.

To accomplish the command's expanded role, many training functions previously performed by the USAREUR staff were transferred to 7ATC. Two new organizations, the Combined Arms Training Directorate (CATD) and the Training Support Activity, Europe, (TSAE) were established. In July 1976, 7ATC acquired the directorate, CATD. Its mission: to assist USAREUR commanders in their goal of maximizing available time and resources. CATD stresses dissemination and implementation of TRADOC developments. CATD also evaluates training activities at the Major Training Areas. Through CATD, major USAREUR training needs are identified and data collected and evaluated to determine the validity of training programs and activities. The directorate consists of three branches -- Training Management Branch, Collective Training Branch and the Individual Training Branch. Effective 1 July 1976, the TSAE was activated under 7ATC supervision. It provides audiovisual guidance and coordinates resource management of audiovisual activities throughout USAREUR. TSAE has technical supervision over the Training and Audiovisual Support Centers (TASC) in USAREUR's five major commands (21st Support Brigade, V Corps, VII Corps, 7ATC and Berlin) and over the Training and Audiovisual Support Offices (TASO) in their sub-communities.

As part of the new command, 7A CATC acquired a three-fold mission: to provide theater-oriented training necessary in maintaining and increasing command combat readiness; to provide training on new equipment and theater-oriented combat procedures; and to provide officer, enlisted and civilian personnel training supplementing previous training. To carry out combat readiness missions, 7A CATC supervises the Basic NCO Courses at Vilseck consisting of nine combat arms military specialties in addition to the Primary Leadership Course in Bad Toelz I think this was the grandfather of what is now WLC, yes? . To supplement previous training, 7A CATC supervises training of the Race Relations-Equal Opportunity, Alcohol & Drug Abuse Control, Resource Management and Facility Engineering Courses in Munich and the Automatic Data Processing Course at Zweibruecken. - I would verify these as well.

In 1987, USAREUR formed the Combat Maneuver Training Center at Hohenfels, creating the Army's third Combat Training Center. CMTC was composed of the Operations Group, consisting of observer/controllers and staff; and an opposing force composed of the 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment. With the opening of CMTC, Hohenfels became the primary maneuver training area for USAREUR while Grafenwoehr served exclusively for gunnery training.

As part of USAREUR’s transformation, CMTC was renamed the Joint Multinational Readiness Center in 2005. JMRC continues the missions and tradition of CMTC as USAREUR’s premiere in-the-dirt maneuver training center. In 1991, Grafenwoehr became the home of the 100th Area Support Group, now known as U.S. Army Garrisons Grafenwoehr and Hohenfels. The garrisons administer community support functions for the American military communities of Hohenfels, Vilseck, and Grafenwoehr.

Throughout its history, 7th ATC has been the centerpiece of USAREUR's operations in peace and preparation for war. The command was a focal point in USAREUR's and VII Corps training for OPERATION DESERT STORM. More recently, 7th ATC led Army efforts in the creation and practice of stability operations doctrine and use of computer assisted simulations in training.

In 1994, 7th ATC hosted the largest; most technologically complex, joint and combined computer assisted training exercise in the Army to date, ATLANTIC RESOLVE 94. Also in 1994, Wildflecken was returned to the Bundeswehr as part of the re-engineering of USAREUR.

In 1996, 7th ATC participated in Task Force Eagle being certified in peace support operations prior to their departure for OPERATION JOINT ENDEAVOR. JMTC has maintained an active role in training units and soldiers deploying to the Balkans as part of OPERATION JOINT GUARD and the recent deployments to Albania, Macedonia, and Kosovo for OPERATION JOINT GUARDIAN.

In 2005, the Seventh Army Training Command officially changed its name to the Joint Multinational Training Command to better represent our key role supporting NATO and the US European Command's Theater Security Cooperation program with joint partnership training. The militaries of Poland, Russia, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Romania, the Republic of Georgia, and many others in Europe and North Africa, are seeing what we believe "right looks like" as we assist them in transforming their forces, NCO corps, and training to the challenges of operating as part of a coalition. At that same time, CMTC transformed into the Joint Multinational Readiness Center.

The 7th Army NCO Academy at JMTC has trained hundreds of allied and partner nations’ noncommissioned officers. These NCOs study, train and graduate alongside U.S. Soldiers in our Warrior Leader Course and are now having a profound effect in bringing a professional NCO corps to emerging partners’ militaries.

JMTC is ideally situated to conduct interoperability training and exercises for European- and CONUS-based forces at training areas in Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, the Czech Republic, and others. Most of the training areas we use are capable of supporting aviation and artillery deep strike, and up to brigade-sized ground forces. Apart from training areas and ranges at Grafenwoehr and Hohenfels, JMTC has the ability to TAKE ITS TRAINING ON THE ROAD. With deployable simulation and tracking systems, and an attitude that WE GO ANYWHERE TO TRAIN, JMTC and JMRC can project civilian on the battlefield, Observer/Controllers, a professional Opposing Force, and instrumentation capabilities to provide a combat training center experience anywhere forces are located. JMTC proved this capability in 2005 and 2006, when CONUS-based reserve units trained alongside Bulgarian and Romanian military forces in Bulgaria and Romania. JMTC has provided full support to recent exercises in Bulgaria, Romania, the Czech Republic, and the Republic of Georgia and even in Russia.

Elements of JMRC’s Opposing Force, and many of the center’s Observer/Controllers have deployed to support the Global War on Terror. Several OPFOR companies deployed to support the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. Elements of O/C teams have deployed to Iraq to train and mentor Iraqi Army battalions, and JMTC and JMRC Soldiers have deployed in Special Police Training Teams to train the Iraqi National Police.

There are plans today to deploy more forces to conduct operations and train security forces in all the theaters of the Global War on Terror. During its history, JMTC has been a centerpiece of USAREUR's operations in peace and preparation for war. The Joint Multinational Training Command leads USAREUR and the Army in training for the future. Made up of more than 15.000 Soldiers and civilians and 9,500 family members, the command and its people dedicate themselves each day to the ideals and missions of JMTC: Projecting Training Power --- ANYWHERE!!!


 
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ADDITIONAL PATCHES

7th Army TTC bevo





Grafenwöhr Training Area
 
(Source: Training Times, February 1983)
Graf's New Ranges

by Fred Cox

About six years ago an operations officer took a hard look at the capabilities of existing ranges at Grafenwoehr Training Area. He then matched his computations with capabilities of the new hardware being developed by the Army.

Once he determined that the ranges could not support advanced weaponry, primarily the M-1 Main Battle Tank and M-2/3 Infantry/Cavalry Fighting Vehicle, the officer briefed the 7ATC commander.

That's when the "ball got rolling" and a Range Upgrade Project was initiated.

Concept of the modernization project was this: First, upgrade existing ranges at GTA to support the new weapons, and do it in a cost effective way. Next, design into the ranges troop billeting and messing areas so training units may come to GTA and efficiently accomplish training requirements. Finally, complete the entire upgrade by the end of Fiscal Year 1984.

Phase One of the project, labled Graf 82, was initiated in that same fiscal year. It included the upgrade of six
ranges.

The second phase is scheduled to begin about April and be completed by December 1983. It includes modernization of four ranges which are primarily being designed to support the M2/3.

New Range Control Tower
at Range 20

 
Project Completion
Phase Three is slated to start in April 1984 and be completed by December of that year. It includes an upgrade of Range 79, GTA's multi-purpose complex.

The whole program was staggered out through a three-year period, according to Maj. Tom Gray, GTA Operations officer.

"We had to stage the upgrade," says Gray, "to reduce the impact on combat readiness. During Phase One the entire Alpha Impact Area was shut down; without question that has an affect on readiness because there were no people training in that area -- it takes up more than half of the reservation."

Gray says Phase Two will be centered around Bravo Impact Area; Alpha will remain operational.

The entire upgrade project is estimated to cost between $82 and $83 million, according to Gray. Cost includes all Military Construction Army labor and materials, and all targetry.

Labor for Phase One was provided, by the 18th Engineer Brigade and a few civilian contractors. The military unit completed its portion of the construction effort ahead of schedule and under estimated cost, according to Gray.

The 18th Engineers were responsible for most vertical and horizontal downrange construction; the civilians were contracted to complete electrical work and water well construction.

All targetry, with the exception of the moving target systems, was purchased with training device money.

All Changes
Visible changes include: lengthened ranges, sophisticated computer-linked targetry, dining shells, billeting and toilet facilities, improved control towers, concrete firing positions and motor parks, fencing and sidewalks.

Latent improvements include: modern weaponry and training support capability, improved electrical systems and range drainage capacity, troop morale enhancement, fuel savings and Range Support cost reductions.

Ranges which received a facelift during "Graf 82" are: 4, 10, 20, 24, 26 and 99. Range 26 received one new moving target system and 30 target pits; the others had major modifications.

One real innovation brought about by the upgrade is installation of Programmable Control Units in range control towers. "Each of the ranges receiving a major upgrade will be equipped with a PCU in the control tower," Gray says. "The units fully control all downrange targetry."

Each $50,000 unit consists of a desk-top computer, printer -- much like a fully automated typewriter -- and a control panel.

A PCU "tells" targets when to come up, what order to come up in, and how long to stay up. It lets Range Support personnel operating it know how long a specific target was up before being hit, how many times it was hit, then records the data and prints it on paper for evaluation purposes.

The units also have a safety feature. "By pressing one button you can drop all targetry on the range," says Gray. "Another safety aspect is that you cannot display a target which is out of safe - the PCU will not display it.

"We only write computer programs which are determined by Range Control to be safe. The PCU operator can only function with what's on the disk, he cannot override the computer's programming."

Computer purchase
Gray says GTA will purchases total of 12 PCUs by the end of Phase Three. He says he thinks the PCU's are durable, dependable and not too complicated. "It's constructed," he says, "so that if it does fail for some reason it's easy to swap major components."

PCU operators will keep busy; GTA is now "armed" with a combination of more than 500 pop-up and moving target systems.

Another big improvement relating to targetry included covering wood target with graphite-paper.

"Wood does not produce heat -- tanks do, people do -- so we had to come up with a target that represented a heat producing vehicle or person," Gray says. "The new graphite targets conduct electricity, so now we lift and heat downrange targetry with electricity."

Why heat targets? "About two years ago the Army began introducing vehicles into Europe that had thermal sights; it's a heat seeking device that detects targets that have a heat signature which is one degree over ambient," Gray says.

Switching to fiscal concerns, Gray says the primary way the upgrade project saves money is through the administrative facilities.

"By allowing units to go to the range and stay there -- for training, billeting, meals -- it reduces the amount of back and forth travel between the range and field camps," Gray says.

Another way the project saves money is through the downrange electrical system. Gray says GTA has eliminated the use of batteries to lift targetry on upgraded ranges. "A Nicad battery, used to lift tank targets, costs $930," he says. "We've eliminated that cost, and the electrical wire will pay for itself in about two years."

Summing up the importance of the upgrade, Gray says, "GTA is vitally important to supporting the training of the soldiers using modern weapons like M-1s, 2s and 3s. Our new ranges support the advanbced weapons' capabilities far better by providing realistic tragetry and battlefield situations."


 
(Source: Training Times, April 1983)
'Phase Two' upgrade set to commence

A "Graf 83" Ground Breaking Ceremony is scheduled to be held at Grafenwoehr Training Area's Range 42 May 5.

The 3:30 p. m. ceremony is programmed to officially kickoff Phase Two of the three-year, multi-million dollar GTA Range Upgrade Project. It also signifies the return of about 3,000 soldiers from the 18th Engineer Brigade, Karlsruhe.

Phase Two is scheduled to be completed by December. It includes the upgrade of ranges 34, 39, 42 and 45, which are primarily being designed to accomodate the M-2/3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle.

The entire construction effort will be centered around the Bravo Impact Area; Alpha Impact Area will remain operational.

Milestones established by the engineers include completion of all uprange construction by the first part of this summer, and initiation of downrange construction by midsummer.

Other elements of the 18th Engineer Brigade are scheduled to work at Wildflecken Training Area on a planned upgrade of Range 9, according to a brigade oifficial.

During Phase One of the project the 18th Engineers upgraded six ranges in GTA's Alpha Impact Area and completed their portion of that construction effort ahead of schedule and under estimated cost, according to Maj. Tom Gray, GTA operations officer.


 
(Source: Training Times, May 1983)
18th Engineers on roll

by Frank Cox

Permanent party residents at Grafenwoehr have noticed many soldiers from the 18th Engineer Brigade using main post facilities.

The engineers are seen daily at the PX, commissary, gym and elsewhere on post. But the locals have not had much of an opportunity to see all that the engineers have been doing on the Graf 83 Range Upgrade Project.
 

Official kick-off of "Graf 83"
 
Lately, according to Maj. Russell Baldwin, an 18th Engineer operations officer, the soldiers have been involved in the unit's next milestone - completion of all uprange construction.

Baldwin says the engineers have been putting in non-stop work on uprange tank parks, access roads, ammo loading facilities, and range control towers. He says construction on uprange facilities will continue through the summer, and that downrange construction is expected to begin about July 1.

During the first week of July the engineers will be involved in a dangerous task: range clearance. "We will go downrange with the 10th Engineer Battalion and EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) personnel from the 21st Support Command to sweep the range for unexploded ordnance.

"Soldiers will start at the range firing line and move downrange looking for unexploded ordnance where construction will take place. It's a very rigid inspection of the ground."
He says some areas on ranges 42 and 45 will be earth shocked. "That entails placing explosives -- normally bangalore torpedoes -- to detonate unexploded ordnance in place. All earth shocking will be performed by the EOD personnel.

"The 10th Engineers will set up the munitions for earth shocking."

The major says that once the ranges are cleared the downrange construction will begin.

Maintenance support for the brigade is provided by 547th Engineer Battalion (V Corps), 237th Engineer Battalion and 71st Maintenance Battalion (VII Corps). Baldwin says the 547th and 237th will be up to full strength by about July 1.

German units helping the construction effort include the 8551st Civilian Support Group, Grafenwoehr, and the 6970th Civilian Support Group, Ettlingen.

"The (German) support groups ere providing construction of all range towers, and they are assisting with heating and electrical work," says the major. "Members of their groups are also operating the paving machine for the concrete tank parks."

Baldwin says troop morale is high. He says since mid-April the engineers have been "on the move" with the project. "They want to complete the project and go home; " he says. "One real plus is that many of them are using last year's experience. Things are going more smoothly because they have their experience to draw on."

Baumholder Training Area
 
 

Hohenfels Training Area
 

Wildflecken Training Area
 
 

Combined Arms School, Vilseck
 
Combined Arms School DI
(Source: Email from Richard Tracy)
I also have some photos of the post (ca. November 1967), CBR School (barracks, outside "classrooms," demonstrations [white phosphorus (WP), thermite, "nuclear simulator," etc. and so on.... 

Vilseck was a very strange place:  everything seemed so ... "temporary"....  Heating in student barracks was provided by a diesel heater/stove in each room:  no central heating plant, etc.  At the snack bar (and mess hall?), they prepared food using  Army-issue field ranges:  everything was "portable"!  Well, it WAS 1967 ... and the place WAS just west of the Czech border ... and if "the balloon went up" for real ... they probably would HAVE to "bug out" ... leaving "not much"!

At night, you could hear the small arms (rifles, machine guns, etc.), tanks, and artillery (105mm
guns went BANG, the 155mm jobs went BOOM, and the 8-inchers went KA-BOOM [the last was also accompanied by "a minor earth tremor"!] at Graf, which was kinda neat -- but very "spooky"!

The CBR School classrooms on post were in an old Wehrmacht cavalry stable:  the original cast-
iron (horse) feeding troughs were still mounted on the walls; they had been filled in with concrete, and were being used as shelves!   (As a student of military history, I found it all ... "fascinating"!) Life in the U.S. Army in THAT part of West Germany was VERY different than "in the rear"! 

Before I forget it, Vilseck even had an M8 armored car -- still with its "Constabulary" markings!

Student Guide, mid-1960s
 
Page 1 - History
Page 2 - CAS Organization
Page 3 - Class Leader, Medical and Dental Svc, Messing
Page 4 - Messing cont'd
Page 5 - Pass Policy
Page 6 - Formations, Religious services
Page 7 - Transportation, Uniform, Weapons
Page 8 - Map Legend - School Activities, Post Facilities
Page 9 - Map Legend - Post Facilities cont'd; Hours of Operation
Page 10 - Post Facilities - Hours of Operation continued
Page 11 - Rose Barracks Installation Map

CAS
Rose Bks, Vilseck

 

1. CAS Hq (KB)

2. Old Armor (KB)

3. CAS Student's room (KB)


4.
M-4 Sherman static display (KB)

5. Student Barracks (KB)

 

CBR School
Rose Bks, Vilseck

 

1. On way to outdoor class (KB)

2. Demo - White Phosphorus (KB)

3. Demo - Thermite Grenade (KB)


4.
Demo- Flamethrower (KB)

5. Demo - Flame Fougasse (KB)

6. Demo - Nuclear simulator (KB)
 

350th Ord Det (Ballistic & Technical Service)
 
(Source: Email from Ron Claypool, 350th Ord Det (B&TS), 1967-68)
The 350th Ord Det B&TS was in Vilseck, Germany and attached to the 7th Army Training Center. The unit was no larger than 15 personnel.

I was Unit Clerk for quite awhile so I know some information about the command structure in 1967-1968. I was transferred from Nelligen Barracks, 538th CC&S Co., to the 350th Ord Det on a special levy from the top of 7th Army Command. The 350th was understrength and my MOS was 45C20 Field Artillery Repair and I was ordered to the 7th ATC Vilseck Post. I tried to contest this transfer with the 7th Army IG, but to no avail.

The IG had sympathy for my reasons to stay at the 538th CC&S in Nelligen Kaserne. I had met a German family and got to know them very well. Getting back to the 350th. At that time there were 3 Army B&TS units in the US Army. One in Germany, one in Okinawa and one in Aberdeen, Maryland. When our equipment needed repair it was sent to Aberdeen, Maryland.

The 350th Command Structure was 1 Captain, 1 Lt, 1 NCO, 2 E-5s and the rest lower ranking enlisted men. I have pictures of the unit and its function in the field.

The unit mission statement was on our front office door in english and german. I have it as

 
THIS UNIT DETERMINES THE EXACT MUZZLE VELOCITY OF THE PROJECTILE FROM ARTILLERY WEAPONS. USING PHOTOELECTRIC CELLS, CALLED "SKY SCREENS" AND ELECTRONIC COUNTERS, ACCURATE TO ONE HUNDRED THOUSANDS OF A SECOND. THE DATA OBTAINED ENABLES THE ARTILLERY TO FIRE ACCURATELY WITHOUT OBSERVING THE TARGET.
 

I was with the 350th from Feb. 1967 to Aug. 1968. I hope this information helps and as the photos I can send JPGs or BMPs. Sincerely Ron Claypool

350th ORD DET
Rose Bks, Vilseck
Pictures are from 1967-68 period Vilseck and Grafenwöhr training area. The 350th Ord Det was stationed at  ROSE BARRACKS, Vilseck, Germany and attached to the 7th Army Training Center.
 

1. Calibration van and support truck (KB)

2. SKY SCREENS (KB)

3. A customer unit arrives at the calibration site (KB)


4.
Battery personnel prepare site for shooting (KB)

5. Calibration van (KB)

6. SP-4 Ernie Kobel (KB)
 

7. (KB)
     

Air Force Liaison Office
 
(Source: Training Times, May 1983)
TAC AIR: Air Force captain controls all air power
within 7ATC through experience and skill


by Frank Cox

"Flying computers" like F-4s, F-16s, A-10s and Cobra helicopters flash through Seventh Army Training Command's air space routinely.

How to they get here? Obviously they fly. But who ensures tactical combat aircraft are provided an opportunity to train
within 7ATC?

Bringing "fast movers" onto Grafenwoehr Training Area, for example, requires a lot of coordination between the Air Force and the Army.

Providing that coordination is the U.S. Air Force, Europe, Liaison to 7ATC, Capt. Gary L. Buis. He is the TAC AIR (tactical air) man within the command.

An A-10 "Hog" takes off at Graf AAF
 
Working out of the Air Force Liaison Office in 7ATC Headquarters, Buis helps provide pilots with training by coordinating with Range Control units, the Air Force, and personnel involved in the training.

A qualified Air Force A-10 pilot, Buis literally performs all the ground work necessary to ensure everyone involved in the training is "on the same sheet of music."
Like a triangle, his job has three sides. "First," he says, "I provide liaison between USAFE and the 7ATC commanding general and his staff; I tell the general what the Air Force can do for him and answer any questions that may arise which concern the Air Force.

"My secondary job is the one I spend most of my time on. I'm responsible for all (tactical combat) aircraft that come onto Grafenwoehr Training Area.

"And, during wartime, I become a Forward Air Controller for an Army unit."

His job is critical to pilot training on GTA because, according to Buis, it's the only land based tactical range where the Air Force can routinely drop and fire live ordnance in USAREUR.

"The way that impacts on 7ATC and the Army is that without this range it would be difficult to get the required unilateral and joint training that we need to support the Army," says Buis.

He says his goal is to achieve 50 percent unilateral Air Force training and 50 percent joint training, with the Army and Air Force working together.

The captain says it's vitally important that the Army and Air Force train together. "I just can't stress the fact that the Army and Air Force train together the same way we'll fight together;" he says.

To stop any confusion, Buis does not use the term Combined Arms Training when referring to operations involving the Army and Air Force; he uses Joint Combined Arms Training.

He says J-CAT is all live fire. "Another thing that adds realism to J-CAT exercises is an Army asset called GRETA (Ground Radar Emitter Trainer for Aviators). It sits on the ground and emits a signal that simulates a Triple-A or missile threat which is picked up in the pilot's cockpit.

"So when you put GRETA, artillery, infantry, Cobras and A-10s all in one scenario it simulates a real wartime situation in a single high threat, high tactical environment."

The captain says it has circulated, by word of mouth, that J-CAT is very valuable.

Commanders at all levels have a vested interest in J-CAT. Buis explains how they may realize the training: "When a brigade or battalion commander decides he's going to Grafenwoehr for training, and he wants to work with the Air Force, his operations officer coordinates with the unit's Air Force liaison officer.

"I look at my calendar to determine if the time the unit wants for J-CAT is booked. If it's not I advise the ALO and he then goes to his (Air Force) S-3 and requests air support through normal channels.

"Now the Army, myself and the Air Force know about the planned training.

"Representatives from all units involved then gather in my office and coordinate the training on my map table. We lay out our safety fans, decide on targets, and deconflict either by time or distance.

"Then we get together with Capt. Andy Villastrigo, the GTA Safety officer. He looks at our plans and says, 'No you can't do this, yes you can do that' and verifies that we're not doing anything, unsafe.

"Once Villastrigo approves the training it is published in the training bulletin and we're ready to do it."

Buis says he and Villastrigo have worked so close together for the last year-and-a-half that J-CAT coordination has become routine. "We've done it so many times now that it takes five minutes whereas it used to take hours; we have a very sound, safe system," he says.

The young captain, who says he'd rather be flying, is departing June 11 for Myrtle Beach, S.C., where he'll pilot an A-10. His replacement, Capt. Fred L. Tasker, is already at 7ATC learning the job. Tasker, who is also an A-10 jockey, came to the command from the Royal Air Force Base, Woodbridge, England.

Newspaper articles
 
(Source: Training Times, July 1982)
7ATC colors pass
Col. Coffman hands BG Foss command; CINC assists in traditional ceremony



(l to r) Col Richard L. Coffman (departing CO); CINCUSAREUR Gen Frederick J. Kroesen;
BG John W. Foss (incoming CO)
GRAFENWOEHR - The Seventh Army Training Command welcomed its new commander, Brig. Gen. John W. Foss, here July 9 with a parade and traditional change of command ceremony.

With USAREUR Commander-in-Chief General Frederick J. Kroesen participating in the event, outgoing 7ATC Commander Col. Richard L. Coffman passed the colors to the new commander.

As 7ATC commander, Brig. Gen. Foss will also hold the position of Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations-Training, USAREUR and Seventh Army.

Flags whipped in the afternoon breeze as 7ATC Command Sergeant Major and Commander of Troops for the ceremony, CSM Harvey W. Kahl, presented the command to Brig. Gen. Foss.

Lines of starched fatigues and highly shined boots added sharpness to the traditional ceremony.

The quick responsiveness to orders of the 7ATC troops was crisp and professional despite the hot midday sun.

Over 150 soldiers from 7ATC units paraded for reviewing officers and the German/American audience.

Units participating in the ceremony were: HHD, Hohenfels Training Area; HHD, Wildflecken Training Area; Support Co., CATC, Vilseck; HHC, Grafenwoehr Training Area; HHC, 7ATC; Regional Personnel Center, 7ATC; and the 536th MP Co.

The 8th Infantry Band from Baumholder provided the music and was conducted by CWO Dennis S. Stone.

State flags, held by soldiers, lined both ends of the parade field as Col. Coffman turned the colors over to the new commander.

State flag bearers were from HHC, 7ATC and HQ Battery, 3/60th Air Defense Artillery.

Brig. Gen. Foss comes to 7ATC from his position as chief, Joint U.S. Military Advisory Group, the Philippines. Brig. Gen. Foss enlisted as a Private of Infantry in 1951 and was commissioned in the Infantry upon his graduation from the United States Military Academy in 1956. He is also a graduate of the Infantry Officer Basic and Advanced courses, the United States Army Command and General Staff College, the United States Army War College and holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration.

Brig. Gen. Foss' major duty assignments include service as commander, 3rd Battalion, 12th Infantry, 4th Infantry Division, Vietnam; assistant G-3 for training, VII Corps; combat developments staff officer and chief, Developments Planning Group, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Combat Developments, HQ, TRADOC; chief, Division Restructuring Study Group, HQ, TRADOC; and commander, 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood.

His decorations and awards include the Silver Star with Oak Leaf Cluster and over 30 other U.S. and foreign decorations.

Assignment as 7ATC commanding general, marks the beginning of Brig. Gen. Foss' fourth tour of duty in Europe. He is accompanied by his wife, Gloria, and daughter, Julia.

Col. Coffman, who arrived at 7ATC in April 1980, held the deputy commander/chief of staff position until March 6, 1982 when he assumed command.

Col. Coffmann was commissioned an Armor officer upon graduation from college 1956. He is a graduate of Armor Officer Basic and Advanced courses, the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, U.S. Army War College and holds a Masters Degree in Counseling.

Col. Coffman's major duty assignments include service as a base commander in Vietnam; operations officer, Vietnam; commander, 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Vietnam; Army General Staff Officer, Washington, D.C.; chief of program analysis, Fort Knox; secretary of armor, Fort Knox; director of armor doctrine, Fort Knox; commander, 1st Armored Training Brigade and deputy commander/chief of staff, 7ATC.

He is accompanied by his wife Betsy and son Ross.

After the passing of the command colors, Col. Coffman resumed his previous duties as 7ATC deputy commander/chief of staff.

The 7ATC Military Community encompasses all U.S. military sites and installations within a 7,500 square mile section of northeast Bavaria. Military communities encompassed by 7ATC are Grafenwoehr, Hohenfels, Wildflecken, Vilseck, Amberg and Bindlach. Military installations at Regensburg and Bayreuth are directed by 7ATC, as are border camps at Roetz, Weiden, Brand and Regen. Elements of 7th Army CATC are located at Munich, Bad Toelz and Zweibrucken.

The 7th ATC supports all USAREUR training, operating Europe's three U.S.-controlled Major Training Areas, Grafenwoehr, Hohenfels and Wildflecken, along with institutional training at the Combined Arms Training Center in Vilseck. Other training support operations include the U.S. element of the NATO Missile Firing Installation, Crete; the Training Support Activity - Europe, supplying theater-wide audio-visual equipment and training aids; and the U.S. Army Reserve Affairs, Europe with headquarters in Munich.

Related Links
7th Army Training Command - 7th ATC's official web site; includes online version of the Training Journal.